College Football Musings: Week Ten

A November they hope to remember got off to a good start for the Gators, not so good for the Seminoles. The updated BCS standings are encouraging for the Gators hopes of playing for it all. Traditional powers Tennessee, Auburn and Michigan see their seasons slide into oblivion and the BNCS Gate crashers are taking more and more spots in the national polls.

That's just a sampling of what's being offered up in this week's musings.

Gators lighting it up ----- The Florida Gators got off to a good start offensively this season, averaging 35.5 points in the first four games. However the last four games have been the stuff of legends. Florida has scored 203 points in winds over Arkansas, LSU, Kentucky and Georgia. That's 50.8 a game against four teams with 27 wins between them. All but Arkansas are already bowl eligible and the Razorbacks just knocked off previously unbeaten Tulsa.

BCS computers impressed ----- The Gators win over Georgia really impressed the computer services that are part of the BCS formula to choose the top two teams to play for the BCS Championship. Florida jumped from 10th to fifth in the computer average, and as a result jumped from eighth to fifth overall. The Gators trail Alabama, Texas Tech, Penn State and Texas and have just a slight lead over sixth place Oklahoma. Things set up pretty well for the Orange and Blue, since I find it hard to believe Texas Tech can beat Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and win the Big 12 Title Game and the Gators can take care of Alabama themselves. Still, an Iowa upset of Penn Stat wouldn't hurt.

A year to forget ----- Usually when you are talking about Auburn, Tennessee and Michigan this time of year it's in terms of contending for a conference if not national title. But Michigan is already out of the bowl picture and Tennessee and Auburn are likely not far behind. The Wolverines are a pitiful 2-7 under first year coach Rich Rodriguez. The boys from Rocky Top are 3-6 for Phillip Fulmer and are reduced to playing spoiler to Vandy and Kentucky later this month. Auburn still has some hope, but not much. The Tigers are 4-5 and still must play Georgia and Alabama. There's not much heat on Rodriguez. After all he just got there. But there is a ton of heat in Knoxville and a growing fire in Auburn. Tuberville may try to escape to Clemson while one must wonder how Tennessee hopes to find a coach who can improve on Fulmer's 150-51 ledger.

Noles come up short ----- Florida State had very quietly put together a nice season under the radar. The Noles took a 6-1 record to Atlanta looking to improve on a No. 15 national ranking. They couldn't handle Georgia Tech's option running game, but rallied from down 14 to get within three. Not just three points, at 31-28, but three yards from a winning touchdown in the final minute. Then as has happened over and over again in recent years the ‘Noles could not finish the deal. Marcus Smith fumbled and Tech recovered in the end zone and FSU had its second loss of the season. They can still win Atlantic Division of the ACC, but face a tough finishing schedule of Clemson, Boston College, Maryland and Florida. The positive for FSU is that only Maryland has to be played away from Doak Campbell Stadium.

What are these guys doing here? ----- That's what some may be saying as they look at the current BCS standings. There are two non BCS conference teams in the top ten (Utah No. 8, Boise State No. 10) and three more in the second ten (TCU No. 12, Brigham Young No. 15 and Ball State No. 17). Only one of that group of five will get a spot in a BCS Bowl game, but which one? I'm betting on the winner of this weekend's TCU/Utah game, which would be quite a bummer for Boise State which is likely to finish 12-0.

Washington woes ----- When most people think about Washington they think of our nation's Capital and perhaps our do-nothing Congress and its 16 percent approval rating. Well, Congress is kicking butt compared to the college football teams in the state of Washington. The putrid seasons of Washington (0-8) and Washington State (1-8) reached a new low Saturday when neither team scored. Washington lost to Southern Cal 56-0, but that was a better performance than Wazzou's 58-0 thrashing by Stanford.


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